While Everything Burns, You're Still Here

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Katekyo Hitman Reborn. I couldn't really afford it on a college budget anyway. I'm just another person playing around in the sandbox the created.

It was just one small difference that day. Sometimes Colonello looked back and wondered what would have happened if hadn't heard it, hadn't been drawn to the strange cloud who laughed as the world came crashing down. That was the start of his fascination, and the beginning of the end of his love for Lal.

Skull was the reject of the Arcobaleno. Everyone knew this, everyone accepted this. He was a civilian before he was brought into the mafia by the curse after all. Someone who knew nothing of their bloody world. Someone who didn't know about flames until they were practically shoved in the poor cloud's face. The cloud who barely qualified as a cloud. Weak, loud, cowardly obnoxious, not even having a territory or a temper. Put simply it was just plain weird. Skull de Mort was the very antithesis of everything a proper mafia cloud should be. And yet, and yet. Skull was so much more. Kora.

The Fated Day

"Just how far do you intend to follow us?" -Reborn

Colonello didn't regret this. He was sure he would never regret this. The COMSUBIN officer well- former officer now he supposed, cared for Lal in a way no one could really understand.

She was his trainer. He'd joined COMSUBIN to be the best. He wanted to save people. To some extent his teenage self-thought that he could be a hero. He was a naive kid back then, Colonello knew this, and accepted it.

He hadn't exactly had what people called and ideal childhood. But it never bothered him. Never missed it. Colonello was born an only child. His parents loved each other very much, and he always remembered them fondly in spite of everything. He'd been very young at the time, almost too young to really appreciate what he had. The love, the care.

Then his father had died in an accident.

Colonello hadn't seen it, but his mother had. They'd been walking around town and while passing through a crosswalk Colonello's father had been struck by a drunk driver. The soldier was forever thankful that he hadn't see it.

But his mother had. His father's mangled body was forever scarred into her memory.

She . . . .Lost touch with reality. Colonello didn't blame her. His mother had tried to take care of him, she truly had. But there were really bad days (only ever bad, he can't recall one good day), and it was hard to help her. But he smiled for her. And sometimes she seemed better.

Colonello's uncle was in the military. He'd never married, never had kids, and quite frankly didn't know what to do with him. Colonello was provided for, but sent off to a military school as soon as possible.

After graduation he'd enlisted as soon as he was eligible.

He remained cheerful. There was no point in being sad. Actually that wasn't true. He'd gotten bored of sadness and anger. There was no end to it.

In a way it was like fate.

After all his name meant 'colonel'.

It was in COMSUBIN's training school that he met Lal Mirch, his commander. Colonello was the only one to constantly stay under her command. Lal was often referred to as the demon trainer from hell.

She was tough, and strong in a way he idolized. Top marksman, top hand-to-hand specialist, top tactician, top trainer. So he learned from her.

Not that she really accepted him as her student at first. . . . .

"Train me, kora!"

"Why would I waste my time with some rookie kid?"

"Train me, kora!"


"Train me, kora!"

"Leave or I'll shoot!"

"Come on please train me, kora!"

"Wha- how did you get in here?!"

"Commander Mirch, kora! Train me!"

"Get out of my house!"

"Train me, kora!"

"Go away!"

"Train me, kora!"

"Quiet I'm on a mission! . . .Shit! This is all your fault!"

"Please train me, kora!"

"Alright! Alright! Just get out of the closet! I swear to god if you've touched anything-!"

And her methods were brutal. No one deserves to be run over by a tank, or shot at, beaten silly, slapped till his cheeks were red-

. . . . . . it was in a single word, extreme.

However brutal Lal's methods of training him were, Colonello couldn't deny she was effective. He mastered karate from Lal, and Sambo from another instructor. Under Lal's tutelage he actually surpassed her at long range weapons. He became one of the best snipers in the world. Balancing short and long range combat. Not that he could ever beat Lal in a fight. No matter what he tried. He usually ended up on the ground.

No, he was not a masochist, kora!

Yes, he loved her as a woman and as his teacher. His best friend, his closest companion. Sure she was cold and a brutal trainer. But her slaps were full of love. Being a hard-ass was they way Lal showed people she cared. His commander wanted people to be as prepared as possible when they went out in the field so that they didn't die. And though she hid it very well he could tell that Lal was always disappointed when someone didn't live up to her expectations. Colonello respected that, he loved that.

Loved her. All of her.

Lal was never honest with him, but she didn't need to be. He understood her perfectly. Her actions spoke louder than her words. Lal might not care for him the same way, but that didn't mean he wouldn't take a literal bullet for her.

So he smiled. Colonello smiled for her, teased her, reassured her, did everything he possibly could to make her understand.

He would not die. He refused to die and make her grieve. Because that was exactly what Lal would do, grieve and blame herself for not preparing him better.

In a way he'd gone full circle. Colonello was more than happy to be someone else's strength, their protector. The fact that Lal was so dear to him only made him work harder.

For her, he'd always stay cheerful and optimistic no matter what.

Colonello trusted his instincts, they'd never led him wrong. He'd gotten a bad feeling when Lal had headed off some deserted mountain on a mission with the other 'strongest seven'. So he followed them. Not that Colonello had been able to hide himself from that bastard hitman though.

His instincts had acted up again when they had all been bathed in light. And without thinking only knowing that something bad was happening, Colonello had pushed Lal out of the way. And had taken her place as the rain Arcobaleno.

He didn't regret it. Given the same options he would save Lal every time.

Protect your comrades, it was a lesson that had been literally beaten into him.

But Colonello couldn't help but think surrounded by his new fellow Arcobaleno as they shouted and screamed to the sky who had betrayed them.

Everything was going to change.

Colonello grimaced as the sun hitman waved a tiny handgun at the very pregnant sky. He could even tell that Lal was very close to breaking down, and the others didn't look much better.

The sky sighed and shook her head in disappointment. "Will you please just listen to me? I had no choice, we had no choice"

Curly sideburns growled, and Colonello could feel the bloodlust rolling off in waves. "Exactly what the fuck did you do to use Luche!?"

Ah, so the sky was Luche. Well at least he had one name.

"We trusted you!" Lal burst out to Colonello's shock. Lal quickly cast a concerned glance to her student and refocused on the sky. Oh. Oh, this was way worse than he thought. Had Lal and the others actually Harmonized to this lone sky?

Well that explained why they were also so upset. Colonello cast a quick gaze around to the other babies.

The mist in the hood was just staring at his/her/their? Hands. Colonello couldn't tell with the hood up and the baby bodies. But their shock and despair was evident.

The green haired man with glasses, presumably a lightning. Although he did not fit Colonello's image of what a lightning should be at all. Was hurriedly messing with what looked to be a watch, an adult sized watch.

The one with the long braid repeatedly took deep breaths. Presumably to calm himself down, although Colonello could see the faint anger and hurt directed towards Luche.

Colonello turned around. Wasn't he missing someone?

The pregnant sky Luche, Mr. trigger happy sunny hitman, a storm that was barely held back, a mist so deep and unfathomable, a sharp lighting already trying to work something out.

And Lal, dear fierce Lal who looked like she was about to break.

Sky, Sun, Storm, Mist, Lightning, and Rain. But where was the last one?

Purple. Colonello's eyes caught short scruffy purple hair blowing in the wind. The newly babyfied cloud he presumed. It was a bit odd. The cloud was faced away from the others and seemed unconcerned with Luche the sky.

He faced the edge of the mountain and looked up towards the clouds. A brown cloak had been hastily thrown around his body like the others. The cloud had wild purple hair.

Colonello found that he couldn't entirely read the other man-er baby. Yes, he could see the anger, the sadness, the frustration, the shock. But there were other things that Colonello couldn't identify. Something was there, Colonello thought it might have been acceptance? Resignation?

Above all else the cloud seemed oddly tranquil.

But all of a sudden the cloud's lips pulled into a sharp smile, and he gave a quick bark of laughter.

Something broke inside Colonello at that sound. They had just been turned to babies, cursed, and the others had been betrayed by their sky. How could he laugh at that?

Colonello was a cheery person, and he was having problems just keeping things together. Especially when he looked at Lal.

The rain pressed forward to the lone cloud. Colonello was curious. Just what sort of person was this cloud?

He was a little bit weary too. The mafia whispered of a cloud's rage. Of the destruction and death that followed in their wake. Clouds were the second rarest flame after sky, and Colonello had never met a cloud in person before.

He made sure that the cloud was aware of his approach. Honestly the last thing they needed right now was a fight with a trigger happy cloud.

"Hey!" Colonello asked and the cloud turned to face him. "Are you okay, kora?" Colonello carefully observed the cloud's face. The rain mentally grimaced.

The cloud was wearing a lot of makeup that seemed to have stayed on during the transformation somehow. Heavy purple eyeliner and shading, with a small teardrop of the same color under his left eye. Several bandages were applied to his face.

Colonello took all that in, along with the cloud's stance. And he was disappointed. The COMSUBIN officer could tell that he was dealing with a civilian here. The cloud didn't carry himself like a fighter or a member of the mafia would.

A civilian was among the 'strongest seven'!?

But there was something, something about the cloud's eyes that drew in Colonello.

The cloud cast a glance around. "Well, I could be better." He quipped. "But I think that goes for all of us."

Colonello raised an eyebrow. That was definitely not typical anti-social cloud behavior.

Also poor kid for having such a high-pitched voice. Colonello's had definitely changed but not to that extent.

Their attention was abruptly drawn away when the other newly made Arcobaleno began to shout at Luche for betraying their bond.

The rain frowned and looked at Lal concerned. So they had all harmonized with her. But then . . . .

Colonello spun to face the civilian cloud again. "Why aren't you upset and acting like the others? She was your sky too, right?" Honestly a cloud being calm when all the other elements of their harmony were raging/despairing made no sense. Especially not in this situation.

It was just plain freaky that a civilian cloud would have either that much control, or none of the cloudy instincts.

A cloud should have been the first to rage. They stirred all the other elements. They were the first onto the battlefield and the last to leave it.

"She was . . . " The cloud looked away. "Not my sky." Ah that explained it, some of it anyway. The purple haired baby sighed. "I go by Skull. Skull de Mort." He flashed a brilliant smile at the soldier. "Ever heard of me?"

"Colonello, Lal's student, kora." The rain Arcobaleno extended his hand. Just because the kid was a civilian didn't mean he shouldn't be polite. "And nope."

Skull, the weird cloud reached out to take his hand.

"Lackey!" Mr. trigger happy sun hitman, stalked over.

Skull withdrew, not just his physical hand. The cloud seemed to cave in on himself, and every trace of humour was wiped from his face. Skull's expression quickly shifted away from self-assured to terrified.

"Hieee!" Good god that was annoyingly high pitched shriek. Colonello faintly wondered how the kid's vocal cords could take it without shredding.

"Were you just smiling now lackey!?" The sun's rage was hitman awkwardly aimed a small caliber pistol at Skull.

Skull as expected of a civilian when faced with a live gun, began to flail about. "Of course not Renato-sempai!"

"Renato . . ." Colonello muttered. "Renato Sinclair!? As in one of the mafia's best hitmen?"

Renato growled at the COMSUBIN soldier. "Not one of the best, the best hitman in the world. And don't you ever forget it."

"That's a bit high and mighty, isn't it kora?"

Until the end.

Everyone? Octopus jokes, gimmie. Like now. I already have like two really good ones, but more are needed~

Question: Why has everyone fallen in love with the idea that Skull is secretly Harry Potter? What specifically draws us all to Skull? There have been plenty of other Harry is an Arcobaleno (Reborn, Lal, Verde exc. Although I don't think I've seen a ColonelloisHarry yet,) but none of them have the popularity that Skull-is-Harry does.

AN: PLEASE READ. I had to publish this. I was driving me crazy. I've been sitting on this story for months, Literally. And I have patches written in different parts. But since I came back from break? It's exploded from 30 pages to well over 100. This is going to be a monster. I'm going to attempt to update once a week. That will force me to work chronologically and get this done. Because this is the ONE! I am finishing this if it is the last thing I do! Then the voices can shut up! Because they're nagging, and nagging. I should be taking notes in Microeconomics but instead I'm writing scripts! This thing had become an obsession . . . . And I have tests this week. Damnit! So yes, I too have officially jumped on the HarryIsSkull bandwagon. Blame everyone else for this! And especially Monochromatic Sakura one of the main people who started this mess with 'Face your Demons' . . . .the Katekyo Hitman Reborn x Harry Potter Community is screwed. All hail our new overlord of memes. HarryIsSkull. Although mine is a bit different~ Oh, and this is a ROMANCE. Just a heads up.